Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband agreed to let lawyers defending the man charged with assaulting Paul Pelosi and prosecutors of the case inspect their home in preparation for his trial.
(Bloomberg) — Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband agreed to let lawyers defending the man charged with assaulting Paul Pelosi and prosecutors of the case inspect their home in preparation for his trial.
David DePape is accused of breaking into the Pelosi residence last year and striking Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer.
DePape’s defense team sought to do a walk-through of Pelosi’s home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. They want photos and measurements to reconstruct the “movements and spaces” at the crime scene, Angela Chuang, a federal public defender, said at an Aug. 2 hearing. Ahead of reaching an agreement, the Justice Department objected to the demands on privacy grounds.
In a court filing Wednesday, prosecutors and the defense team asked US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco for a protective order governing the handling of information obtained from the visit, including not allowing DePape to have any copies or unsupervised access to the information.
At the Aug. 2 hearing, Chuang had argued that DePape’s lawyers need to study the interior of Pelosi’s home to understand “the events that culminate in the police arriving.”
Paul Pelosi and DePape were struggling to gain control of the hammer when police arrived, according to the report. When Pelosi lost his grip, DePape lunged, striking him in the head. DePape later told police he knew he’d been caught on camera and that the 911 call was recorded.
Assistant US Attorney Helen Gilbert argued that a federal court has never authorized a defendant to enter a victim’s home. Besides being unnecessary because videos and photos are available to DePape’s team, the US argued that granting his lawyers access to the Pelosi home would amount to a violation of constitutional protections against government intrusion.
“You don’t need to get into what happened in the home,” Gilbert told Corley at the Aug. 2 hearing. “It’s not like the prosecution team has been to the house – we have not.”
DePape faces federal charges of attempting to kidnap a federal official — Nancy Pelosi — even though she wasn’t at home when the break-in occurred. He’s also charged with assaulting the immediate family member of a federal official. DePape separately faces an array of state charges filed by San Francisco’s District Attorney.
When he was arrested in 2022, DePape, a longtime Bay Area resident, had been active on social media railing against the government and technology giants, and espoused far-right conspiracy theories. His blog posts took aim at immigrants, “climate hysteria” and feminists, among others.
The federal case is USA v. DePape, 22-mj-71419, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
(corrects the headline to accurately reflect who is inspecting the home. Also corrects lead to include prosecution and adds more context in third graph.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.